Security for everyone - Review F-Secure Total Security and Privacy 2017

4 out of 5 stars

One of the oldest brands from the world of IT security, F-Secure, is still out and doing well today, after more than two decades of existence. They develop and sell all kinds of security products aimed at protecting you against modern online and offline threats, from regular viruses, to ransomware or hackers trying to steal your personal data. Their most complete security suite available today is called F-Secure Total Security and Privacy and it promises to offer “Internet security and VPN for all devices”. We wanted to see how good this software is, so we kept on using and testing it for a whole week. In this review, we will share with you what we’ve found and our opinion about this antivirus product. Let’s start:

The download and installation experience

In order to get F-Secure Total Security and Privacy 2017 on your computer, you first have to create an online account on F-Secure’s website. It’s a mandatory step and you cannot get around it. To do that, you will have to provide them with a valid email address and a name. Then, you can download the installer for F-Secure Total Security and Privacy 2017. It’s a small executable file called F-Secure-Safe-Network-Installer_[some_random_numbers]_.exe , with a size of only 845 KB.

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Running the installer will trigger the launch of the installation wizard, which will automatically use your account details. However, as you can see below, you can also login with another F-Secure account if you want to.

Then, you choose a name for your Windows PC, which will help you identify the PC in your online F-Secure dashboard. If you want to, you can choose to “contribute security data to Security Cloud”. We recommend you do so, because this will help F-Secure’s engineers respond faster to threats.

Then you’ll have to wait for a minute or two, while the installer downloads and installs all the necessary files for F-Secure Total Security and Privacy 2017. In total, you will download approximately 80MB of data from F-Secure’s servers. This is little when compared to other similar products.

When the installation is done, F-Secure Total Security and Privacy 2017 launches its user interface, which looks very simple. You’ll also notice that the security product immediately triggers an automatic update of its virus database. That’s good, as it means you will get updated protection right from the start.

Downloading and installing F-Secure Total Security and Privacy 2017 is easy and fast, but it forces you to create an online account. That’s OK for paying customers, but for people who just want to run a trial version, like ourselves, creating an online account feels a bit too much. Fortunately, the only personal information you must provide is your name and email address.

Integration with Windows, web browsers and universal Windows platform apps

During its installation, F-Secure Total Security and Privacy 2017 automatically disables Windows Defender , to eliminate the possible conflicts and performance issues that can be triggered by two similar security products running at the same time. However, the same does not happen for Windows Firewall , which is not disabled. But there’s a good reason for that: F-Secure Total Security and Privacy 2017 is called a “total” security product, but it doesn’t include its own firewall module. You will have to make do with Windows Firewall when it comes to network protection.

The good side of that is that you will have no problems in using the networking features from Windows. We checked, and creating or joining a homegroup is easy, and so is sharing files or folders over the network. We had no problems either when running and updating universal Windows platform apps.

In order to protect you against dangerous websites, F-Secure Total Security and Privacy 2017 scans and filters all the internet traffic that goes on your computer. That means that you will be secured in any web browser you like using, which is a good thing. Additionally, it also provides you with a Browser Protection add-on, which is a browser toolbar designed to offer you rankings and other security information about the websites that you visit. It’s available for Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer.

Moving further ahead, we wanted to see whether F-Secure Total Security and Privacy 2017 has a meaningful negative effect on our test laptop’s performance. We began by using BootRacer to measure the boot time of our computer before and after installing F-Secure. We found that this security product added less than a second to the boot time, which is a very small number. Then, we looked at how much RAM memory it consumes. During normal circumstances, when nothing out of the ordinary is taking place, F-Secure used less than 100MB of RAM memory. On the other hand, when we were running antivirus scans, the consumption rose to 210MB and above. These are small numbers for any modern computer, which is great.

Finally, we also installed and ran PCMark 8’s Home accelerated benchmark tests in order to see if the security suite has had a negative effect on the overall performance of our computer. The very good news is that we measured the same score with and without having F-Secure Total Security and Privacy 2017 installed. That means that there’s no negative effect on the overall performance of our computer.

F-Secure Total Security and Privacy 2017 is a security product that’s very well integrated with Windows and its networking features. Sure, the absence of a firewall module helps, but we must also take note of the seemingly inexistent negative effect this product has had on our computer’s overall performance.

Ease of use & configuration

F-Secure Total Security and Privacy 2017 offers a user interface that’s extremely simple. It’s all about a fixed size window with three main sections: Status, Tools and Statistics. Each of them does what their names say, so there’s nothing unexpected or complicated about them. F-Secure uses a light blue color all over its user interface and a calming green color for the important messages. That is when the security state of your computer is OK, because if it’s not, the green turns red.

One feature that everyone will appreciate is the fact that you can easily use F-Secure Total Security and Privacy 2017 on any kind of computer or device, even on tablets or 2-in-1s. The buttons are big and most settings are controlled by switches or check marks.

All the features, settings and options in F-Secure Total Security and Privacy 2017 should be easy to understand. However, if there is something you have trouble with, rest assured that you can get help. If you go online, you can access the knowledge base, a FAQ section, community forums, live chat or call a support technician for help. F-Secure even has offline help files, which is something you don’t get to see very often these days.

If you like having the details of what happened on your computer at hand, or if you enjoy statistics, you should know that F-Secure Total Security and Privacy 2017 offers both. You can see numbers about files scanned or viruses cleaned, as well as get details on each important security event that took place on your PC.

As far as alerts and notifications go, we only saw alerts that were related to malware infected files. That’s a good thing, if you like a silent security product and don’t want to be bothered by unimportant alerts.

F-Secure Total Security and Privacy 2017 is a security product that offers its users a simple user interface with a minimalistic design. It’s easy to use by anyone on any kind of device.

Go to the next page of this review and see how effective F-Secure Total Security and Privacy 2017 is at protecting your computer from network attacks and malware. You will also see our final verdict for this antivirus product.